From corporate staple to environmental must: Tracing the long journey of Dell Technologies Latitude portfolio

There’s good reason for Dell’s Latitude portfolio of laptops becoming a corporate staple across the world. They have always offered great bang for buck, tier one quality, and support, and carried the latest technology from recognised leaders like Intel and Microsoft. None of that has changed to this very day – but a more recent and proud development is the combination of Dell Latitude quality with impeccable sustainability credentials. This, says Acquire director Simon Scott, makes Dell Latitude a great choice for all the right reasons. “There’s no compromise on quality or features, and you get to do your bit as a conscious corporate citizen supporting sound Environment, Sustainability and Governance [ESG]principles,” he says.

It is perhaps hard to believe, but Dell Latitude laptops have been with us, and growing their reputation with users and organisations everywhere, for a good 28 years. First introduced all the way back in 1994, the first Dell Latitudes broke some ground all of their own. The Dell Latitude XP was the very first laptop available with an optional lithium-ion battery; seems strange now, but nearly three decades ago, the prevailing battery technology was Nickel Cadmium. As for specs, the devices then saw the last of the 486DX4 processors, and the start of the illustrious Intel Pentium range which remains with us today.

“We’ve obviously come a very long way since then,” notes Scott. “But what hasn’t changed is the DNA of the Dell Latitude, which has certainly played a key role in making Dell the world’s third largest personal computer vendor.”

That DNA is its business-oriented focus, where appearance, reliability, and performance matter. After all, then as now, Dell Latitude is designed and built for corporate enterprises, healthcare, government, and education markets.

But to that trinity of appearance, reliability, and performance is added a relatively newer focus. “For all these customers, ESG is fast becoming another essential factor in the choice of devices used by their people. The Dell logo has appeared on many boardroom tables over the years, attesting to the owner’s standards, and the standards of the company they represent. Today, in the latest Dell Latitude portfolio, that standard includes impeccable sustainability credentials,” says Scott.

Current models (and understanding the portfolio)

The current Dell Latitude model lineup is known as the ‘xx30’ portfolio, with every device ending in a ‘30’ or ‘31’ suffix. Four series are offered: 3000, 5000, 7000 and 9000. The second digit in the series indicates screen size – so a 9430, for example, is a 9000 series with a 14-inch screen. Higher performance models get the ‘31’ suffix and incorporate features such as discrete graphics and higher-powered processors.

The entry-level is the 3000 series, targeted at education and small business users (this level incorporates the discontinued Vostro series, which was specifically targeted at small business). In the midrange, the 5000 series includes a higher-performance model with designations ending in 31. The 7000 series consists of high-end thin and light models, while at the top end, the 9000 series are premium devices incorporating CNC aluminum and premium collaboration features..

Scott notes that the options include traditional laptop layouts and ‘two-in-one’ machines with either detachable or 360-degree flip screens.

Sustainability built into every Dell Latitude

While so-called ‘speeds and feeds’ have long dominated discussions about corporate computers, it’s the ESG side of things that Scott says increasingly distinguishes one vendor from another. “After all, most vendors build their machines from the same or very similar underlying components: Intel or AMD processors, Seagate or Hitachi hard drives, Samsung memory, and so on.”

Dell, says Scott, has a highly developed ESG agenda which reflects in the Dell Latitude portfolio. It’s no new development, either: for example, since 2007, Dell has recovered more than a billion kilograms of used electronics for reuse and recycling. The vendor uses sustainable materials in in product content and packaging wherever possible, including bioplastics, paper fibres, low carbon aluminium, and recycled steel, plastic, and carbon fibre, with a massive 180 thousand tons of these materials going into Dell products.

The company’s 2030 sustainability goals are ambitious and include a commitment to over 50% of product content from recyclable and renewable materials. Dell is off to a great start: already, packaging for commercial laptops, like Dell Latitude, is made from 100% recycled or renewable materials, including paper alternatives to plastic bags, trays, and tape.

“This is where the rubber hits the road,” Scott enthuses. “These are measurable and demonstrable results of a vendor recognising the pressing issues of our times and doing something about it.”

Additional measures include Dell’s work with Intel on ‘Concept Luna[HJ1] ’, a new approach to product design which makes components more accessible, replaceable and reusable, and which could reduce overall carbon footprint by up to 50%.

It’s an outwork of the concept of a circular economy, in which the idea of ‘waste’ is turned on its head. Instead of waste destined for landfill as an inevitable byproduct of making things, the circular economy proposes taking back as much as is produced, continually reusing resources while significantly scaling the adoption of recycled and renewable materials. This combines with creating recyclable products and packaging.

Scott says these are big ideas which are being built into little devices at the sharp end of the supply chain. “ESG is something you get with every Dell Latitude. Not only are these laptops proven in the corporate setting for nearly three decades, but Dell’s commitment to doing things better for the planet carries right the way through to the computer in your hands,” he says.

“And that’s comforting. Choose a Dell Latitude, and you’re doing your bit.”

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